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"TAN" 2003 Obituary


TANDY  TANG  TANN  TANNER 

TANDY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-01 published
'Curtain up, laugh, laugh, laugh, curtain down'
Versatile comic actor appeared in a string of hit revues, as well as at the Shaw and Stratford festivals, in London and on Broadway
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, December 1, 2003 - Page R7
At the mere mention of his name some people would just start giggling. In fact, wherever the wonderfully comic actor Tom KNEEBONE went there was laughter. He loved not only to make other people laugh but also to let out his own deep laugh, which Friends say seemed to start in his gut and make its way up through his body, gathering force as it went.
"Tom could make me laugh longer and harder than anyone else," said Gary KRAWFORD, a long-time friend who first worked with him in the mid-1960s. "He was without a doubt the funniest man I've ever met in my life."
Mr. KNEEBONE, who has been described by some critics as one of the world's top cabaret performers, died in a Toronto hospital on November 15 after suffering a heart attack and other complications. He was 71.
The versatile performer appeared for many years at the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival of Canada, where during the 1976 season he played Puck opposite Jessica TANDY in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He also performed at London's Old Vic, the Charlottetown Festival and on Broadway. He was a guest with the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada, a company he greatly admired.
Toronto audiences may remember him best for the string of hit revues he performed with Dinah CHRISTIE, which included Ding Dong at the Dell, The Apple Tree and Oh Coward! "I was absolutely in awe of the man," Ms. CHRISTIE said, recalling the first time they performed together 38 years ago.
They developed an enduring partnership that resulted in appearances across the country performing everywhere from cabarets to big concert halls with symphony orchestras. In Toronto, they performed together at Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Over the years, working with Mr. KNEEBONE became like "working with kith and kin," Ms. CHRISTIE said.
"We made each other laugh," she said, adding that they worked so well together because they were complete opposites.
While Mr. KNEEBONE was happy living and working in the big city, Ms. CHRISTIE feels more at home on her farm in rural Ontario with her animals and open space.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, on May 12, 1932, Mr. KNEEBONE later moved to England to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. After graduation, he went with the company on a 1963 North American tour. When the tour folded in New York, Mr. KNEEBONE went out looking for work. He travelled to Toronto and joined the Crest Theatre Company, where he got a job performing in a production of She Stoops to Conquer. He later starred with the Canadian comic actor Barbara HAMILTON in the hit revue That Hamilton Woman. The road was paved for him after that and, as he was quoted as saying, it was 40 years of "curtain up, laugh, laugh, laugh, curtain down."
Over the years, several critics remarked on Mr. KNEEBONE's unique facial features. Walter KERR in The New York Times once wrote: "His eyes are all right, but I think his nose is crossed."
In Time magazine, comparisons were made between Mr. KNEEBONE, Pinocchio and Charlie Brown. "With leprechaun whimsy, and a pace as assured as the Dominion Observatory Time Signal, his major weapon is a wonderfully mobile face that he seems never to have grown accustomed to. Small wonder," the writer wrote. "His features might have been drawn by a child. Eyes like silver dollars, a nose that wobbles to a Pinocchio point, and a mouth tight and tiny as Charlie Brown's when he is sad."
The moment the sun came up in the morning, Mr. KNEEBONE was up and out of bed, opening his curtains and declaring: "Let's get on with the show," his friend Doug McCULLOUGH recalled. "You cannot take the theatre out of Tom," Mr. McCULLOUGH said. "Tom was always on stage."
Mr. KNEEBONE was never without a story to tell, whether it was a tale about the crazy person who gravitated to him on a Toronto subway or a character he met while performing in a small town. "Everything had a theatrical dimension," Mr. McCULLOUGH said.
In recent years, Mr. KNEEBONE turned his attention toward writing and directing plays for the Smile Theatre Company. Once again he and his long-time friend Ms. CHRISTIE were collaborators. Together they brought professional theatre to senior citizens' homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals. Mr. KNEEBONE had been the company's artistic director since 1987.
Known for his extensive research, he spent hours combing through books and old musical recordings at libraries and theatrical museums collecting information to use in his productions. He charmed all the librarians at Toronto's public libraries, Ms. CHRISTIE said.
He loved the process of gathering Canada's little-known stories, whether it was the tale of a war bride or the country's first black doctor, and then bringing them to audiences. He also saw it as a way to give something not only to people whose health prevented them from getting to the theatre, but to the country that has accepted him so warmly when he arrived.
Despite his writing and directing, he never stopped performing. Just weeks before he died, Mr. KNEEBONE and Ms. CHRISTIE performed some of Nol Coward material together for a benefit.
"He was one of the masters of Nol Coward," Mr. Krawford said.
In addition to his stage work, Mr. KNEEBONE performed in film and television, including the movies The Luck of Ginger Coffey and The Housekeeper.
A proud Canadian, Mr. KNEEBONE was honoured by his adopted country with the Order of Ontario, and was named a Member of the Order of Canada in October, 2002.
He leaves his cousin, Robert GIBSON, in Australia.

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TANG o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-26 published
'She wore a smile all the time'
A nursing 'hero' cared for severe acute respiratory syndrome victims, became one herself and died not knowing the fate of her husband
By Allison LAWLOR Saturday, July 26, 2003 - Page F10
'I don't think she worried about it," Michael TANG says of his mother. "She was very invincible."
But Tecla LIN knew the risks far better than most people. She was among the first to volunteer when West Park Healthcare Centre, where she was a part-time nurse, set up a special unit to treat Toronto health-care workers stricken in the city's initial outbreak of sudden acute respiratory syndrome.
It was dangerous duty, but she knew what to watch for -- especially the high fever so closely associated with the mysterious disease. So, whenever she went to sleep, a thermometer could be found with the face creams and makeup on her bedside table.
Then, on April 4, she realized she had sudden acute respiratory syndrome symptoms and immediately checked herself into Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre.
"We didn't think much of it the first week or so," recalls Mr. TANG, 32. "We remained optimistic."
But Ms. LIN's health started to deteriorate and soon she required an oxygen mask. For three months she remained in hospital, and "it got harder and harder for her to breathe," her son says.
Last month she was transferred to the William Osler Health Centre in Etobicoke, where she died last Saturday morning at the age of 58.
She probably knew the end was near. What she didn't know was that Chi Sui LIN, the husband she had infected, had passed away just three weeks after she went into Sunnybrook.
Mr. TANG says he and his brother Wilson decided to keep their stepfather's death from their mother, feeling she needed all her strength to fight her own illness.
Born on December 18, 1944, in Hong Kong, Tecla Lai Yin WONG was the eldest of four children. Her father died while she was still young, and she became largely responsible for supporting the family.
"There was a great deal of obligation to help the family and to help others," Mr. TANG says.
After graduating from the Government School of Nursing, she began her career in Kowloon, Hong Kong, in 1968, spending five years as an operating-room nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
In June, 1968, she married Augustine TANG, the father of Wilson and Michael. Five years later, the couple (who divorced in the mid-1980s) brought their family to Canada, settling in Toronto and opening a Chinese restaurant.
Ms. LIN worked in the struggling restaurant with her husband but in 1977 landed a job at the Doctors Hospital, where she worked there for more than 20 years. In that time, she became a specialist in dealing with high-maintenance patients. She also went back to school, to earn her nursing degree from Ryerson University and to complete a certificate in critical-care nursing.
She started to work part-time at West Park Healthcare Centre in October, 1999, mainly in the rehabilitation centre's respiratory-services unit. She also worked part-time at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, often on the night shift.
By working at night, she could spend the day doing the other things that she enjoyed. She regularly went to the Chinese Community Centre of Ontario in downtown Toronto with Mr. LIN, whom she had married after her divorce from Mr. TANG in the mid-1980s.
"They were very devoted to each other," says Donald CHEN, president of the community centre, where Ms. LIN became an executive director.
"The two of them would come in together and enjoy the company of others."
Almost 20 years his wife's senior, Mr. LIN had lived in Taiwan before coming to Canada. He served in the air force, Mr. CHEN said, and went on to become a teacher and then the head of an elementary school.
"We called him 'Principal,' " he said.
Mr. LIN was in his mid-70s when he died, and had long been retired. His own children live in Taiwan, according to Mr. TANG, who says he was not close to his stepfather.
At the centre, Ms. LIN organized such activities for the women as tai chi, gardening and dancing. But she also had a passion for mahjong, the popular Chinese tile game, often taking on some of the seniors at the centre.
"She could play all night," Mr. TANG said.
Friendly and outgoing, "she wore a smile all the time," Mr. CHEN says. "She was very sweet and very friendly," enjoyed the company of others, and treated people at the centre as "sisters and mothers."
Mr. TANG agrees, saying: "She liked to chat."
She also liked to help. In March, she traded her part-time duties in West Park's respiratory services for a full-time job in the new sudden acute respiratory syndrome unit. Fourteen staff members from Scarborough Hospital (Grace Division), the initial sudden acute respiratory syndrome epicentre, had been infected and transferred to the ward for treatment.
The caregivers managed to fight off the infection until last month, when June, Nelia LAROZA, 51, of North York General Hospital, became the first nurse to die. Ms. LIN was the second. Her death brought the sudden acute respiratory syndrome fatalities in Canada to 41, all in Ontario.
Colleagues at West Park Healthcare Centre are in mourning. Last weekend, the hospital lowered its flag to half-mast, and later issued a statement saying that Ms. LIN, "like everyone else who had worked to contain sudden acute respiratory syndrome and care for patients under stressful and extreme circumstances, was considered a hero."
Barbara WAHL, president of the Ontario Nurses' Association, says that "I certainly heard outstanding things about her nursing care. She was totally dedicated."
Her death, Ms. WAHL adds, "is a terrible blow to her colleagues," and to her profession.
Those co-workers remember her compassion and generosity.
"Tecla provided a unique mix of skilled nursing and unwavering compassion for her patients and fellow staff members," the statement says. "Popular, hard working and beloved by many, she would even sometimes bring lunch for her colleagues."
She was also, her son says, "known for her resilience and strength."
Even while confined to her hospital bed, she was trying to plan a wedding -- Wilson, 34, is to be married in September. "She was really looking forward to it," brother Michael says.
A private funeral service for family, Friends and invited guests will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Hong Kong Funeral Home, located at 8088 Yonge Street, in Thornhill, Ontario
The public will be received at the funeral home tomorrow from 2 to 6 p.m. and Monday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Tomorrow afternoon at 3, the Chinese Community Centre, located at 84 Augusta Ave., will conduct a special memorial service for Mr. and Ms. LIN, who leaves her mother, a sister and two brothers in Hong Kong, as well as her sons.
Ms. LIN was an animal lover with two cats. Her family asks that memorial donations be sent to the Toronto Humane Society.

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TANN o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-02-05 published
Vera Ilene SHERING (ne WOOD)
In loving memory of Vera Ilene SHERING who passed away peacefully at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 in her 78th year. Beloved wife of the late Joseph ARMSTRONG and the late Monty SHERING. Loving mother of Harold ARMSTRONG and his wife Lynne, Bill ARMSTRONG and his wife Linda, Ken ARMSTRONG and his wife Andrea, Carolyn SMURTHWAITE and her husband Norm, Marlene WHEELER and her husband Steve, Cathie Gould and her husband Jack. Dear grandma of 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Vera is survived by her sisters Myrtle WOOD, Marie TANN, Bernice SLOSS, and Edith BAYER and by her brother Lorne WOOD. Friends may call at the Innisfil Funeral Home, 7910 Yonge street, (Stroud) on Saturday, February 8th from 1: 00 pm until time of service at 3:00 pm. Cremation. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at verashering@funeralhome.on.ca

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TANNER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-01 published
Died This Day -- William Desmond TAILOR/TAYLOR, 1922
Saturday, February 1, 2003, Page F11
Actor, filmmaker and soldier born William DEANE- TANNER in Carlow, Ireland, on April 26, 1872; in 1890, immigrated to United States in 1890; in 1908, deserted wife and family to appear in movies in 1914, made his directorial debut with The Awakening, followed by 40 more films; served as a captain in the Canadian Army during the latter part of First World War; returned to filmmaking and made 15 more films, including Captain Kidd, The Green Temptation and Anne of Green Gables; found murdered in his Hollywood home police complained a number of Hollywood personalities had visited the scene to remove or tamper with evidence; investigation focused on such stars as actresses Mabel NORMAND and Mary Miles MINTER later accounts reported the film Community sought to avoid a scandal that coincided with murder trial of actor Fatty ARBUCKLE crime never solved.

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TANNER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-07 published
BOWRING TANNER, Dr. Linda
Dr. Linda Bowring TANNER died peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer, on July 5, 2003, in Sarnia, Ontario. Linda was born in Birmingham, England and immigrated to Canada in 1976 and was committed to Palliative Care for 20 years. She is survived by her husband Mike, daughters Sarah, Kate and Amy and mother Joan BOWRING. Messages of condolence and memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.com

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TANNER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-01 published
Linda Margaret Bowring TANNER
By Daphne BARTLETT Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - Page A22
Wife, mother, daughter, palliative-care specialist, friend. Born April 19, 1948, in Birmingham, England. Died July 5 in Camlachie, Ontario, of cancer, aged 55.
She saw herself as a very ordinary working mom, wife, and Christian, living an unexceptional life. Well, let me tell you about this ordinary woman. Her name was well chosen. Linda means beauty and with that surely goes warmth, energy and radiance -- the essentials of Linda TANNER. She was born at the height of the post-war baby boom, and raised in a flat with her mom and grandparents. She graduated from medical school, at a time when working-class youth could, and married Mike, an engineer, in 1974. They worked for a year in Africa, with Canadian University Services Organization, before emigrating to Sarnia, Ontario
With three young daughters, she worked as a locum and in the emergency department, but it was in the early 1980s that she was to find her calling. Her vision, energy and wisdom were fundamental in the founding of Sarnia's palliative care services, including a residential hospice and out-patient cancer pain clinic. Under her guidance, it was to become a model for many treatment centres around the country. Her teaching, motivation and innovation in the management of the terminally ill have affected countless people within and beyond our own community. Recognition of this came with the Dorothy Ley Award for excellence in palliative care, and the naming of the palliative care wing in Sarnia in Linda's honour.
The shock came with the pathology report, which identified a leiomyosarcoma -- a rare but vicious cancer with a 5 per cent survival rate. After further treatments, a scan revealed that she was not to be part of that 5 per cent. Linda knew better than anyone the challenges ahead. The person who had reassured and assuaged the fears of so many people and their loved ones as they faced death, turned to Friends, family, and faith for her own comfort.
Linda chose seven Friends to share this journey and in the last months, four more joined us. For more than a year, a day with Linda was on the calendars of "Linda's Ladies" as we took turns to take her to various treatments, to work, maybe a pedicure or shopping (a pack rat, she couldn't resist a bargain). Sometimes we would have a day in her garden, where she knew the names of all of the plants, and the people who had given them to her. Perhaps a morning would be spent cleaning out a cupboard, but nothing was ever thrown out. It was more a morning of inventory-taking, and redistribution.
Afternoons were kept free for "her soaps" for she was a devotee of Coronation Street and Emmerdale. She had a butterfly tattoo on her thigh and a passion for red shoes. In the last week of her life she ate, when she could, a diet solely of strawberries and ice cream. "How decadent," she would say, with the widest and naughtiest grin. These were days of Friendship and fun, days of tears and fears, days of laughter, days of doubt and courage, days of humility, discovery and learning. How enriched we have been by her request to share this voyage.
Linda's love and respect for people was endless, never impatient or judgmental; her humour wicked, but never unkind; her compassion creative, never sentimental or bland. She is survived by her husband Mike, her mother Joan, and three beautiful daughters: Sarah, Kate and Amy.
This ordinary woman will continue to give us beautiful light, she will continue to give us warmth, and she will continue to give us strength. For she was a person of grace who showed us how to live, and showed us how to die.
Daphne is Linda's friend and one of "Linda's Ladies."

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